The site links below should be helpful in understanding the Second Amendment, the two court cases that became the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller, issues related to that Amendment, court decisions, and any rights we, as individuals, may have to guns.

Also added are some post 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decisions published in the media.

1. Early Historical Documents: Mayflower Compact, 1620; English Bill of Rights, 1689; Declaration of Independence, 1776; Articles of Confederation, 1781; U.S. Constitution, 1789; Constitutional Amendments, 1868 and 1791.

2. 18th Century Definitions: Arms, Alienable, God-given Rights, Inalienable, Infringe, Inherent, Militia, Natural Rights, Nonjuror, Patrols, Public, Publick, Restriction, Session Laws, Unalienable.

3. 65 restrictions on arms in place on December 15, 1791

4. Arms and Public Policy: The 1619 American law restricting the sale of private arms; Passing Our Bill of Rights, A Timeline; Five laws in force on December 15, 1791, that required individuals to have or carry arms, independent of the militia and the military; Ten laws requiring individuals to have and carry arms, no longer valid as of December 15, 1791; 45 U.S. Supreme Court cases related to restrictions on arms; A 2015 comparison of guns deaths per capita in U.S. States versus the number of eight gun laws in those states; Post Heller views on the question of an individual right in the Second Amendment by 6 of 52 cosigners of an amicus brief filed on September 3, 1999, on behalf of the United States in the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case U.S. v. Emerson.

5. Heller-related Documents: Opinions, Amicus Curiae Briefs, U.S. Supreme Court cases and other court cases mentioned in Parker v. District of Columbia, 311 F.Supp.2d 103, 109 (2004); Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370, 401 (2007); and District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).

6. Post 2008 U.S. Supreme Court Articles and Opinions: McDonald v. Chicago (561 US 742) decided June 28, 2010, in which the opinion of the court stated: “We therefore hold that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings.”; On April 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court released a per curiam opinion on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., Et Al., Petitioners V. City Of New York, New York, Et Al. (590 U. S. _) as the case was no longer relevant: “State of New York amended its firearm licensing statute, and the City amended the rule so that petitioners may now transport firearms to a second home or shooting range outside of the city, which is the precise relief that petitioners requested in the prayer for relief in their complaint. … Petitioners’ claim for declaratory and injunctive relief with respect to the City’s old rule is therefore moot.”; On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court decided not to take 10 new cases for the next term that dealt with Second Amendment issues.

 

Note: Since this site went live in January 2019, I have been asked various times for my view of the Second Amendment and any individual gun rights we might have. Not being a lawyer, Constitutional expert or colonial scholar, I have demurred, but given the apparent ongoing interest in my thoughts on the issue, here it is:

Originally needed for food and protection, guns were an ubiquitous part of early America, widely distributed and not subsequently limited or controlled by our Constitution or its subsequent amendments. In addition, guns were regulated by the states well before the Second Amendment, and continued to be regulated by state and federal governments since. Notably, no U.S. federal or state government has ever taken the formal position that all guns in total should be banned or outlawed. Nor have they taken the position they should not be regulated in some way.

Based on the above, from my research and primarily from the information and facts contained on this site, it is my personal opinion that the Second Amendment was only intended for the militia and military, and that we, as individuals, have a natural or inherent right to guns, rights subject to reasonable government regulation.

 

Steven C. Markoff,
January 2020

 

Website updated June 15, 2020